Z*Net: 24-Aug-90 #534From: Kevin Steele (aa596@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 09/05/90-01:27:47 AM Z
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From: aa596@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Kevin Steele) Subject: Z*Net: 24-Aug-90 #534 Date: Wed Sep 5 01:27:47 1990 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Z*NET ATARI ONLINE MAGAZINE - AUGUST 24, 1990 - ISSUE #534 Your Weekly Atari News Source ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Published by Rovac Editor: Ron Kovacs Asst Editor: John Nagy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Staff Columnists: Jon Clarke, Terry Schreiber, Terry May Advertising: John King Tarpinian Distribution: Bruce Hansford ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ CONTENTS EDITORS DESK.................................................Ron Kovacs Z*NET NEWSWIRE......................................................... A WONDERFUL THING HAPPENED - JACK BOUGHT ATARI......John King Tarpinian Z*NET PUBLIC DOMAIN UPDATE....................................Terry May Z*NET DOWN-UNDER.............................................Jon Clarke ST DISK DRIVE CONVERSION...................................John Hissink HARLEKIN REVIEW.........................................Terry Schreiber ULTIMA 5 REVIEW.................................................Aragorn MIDI PHONE CONNECTION REVIEW............................Terry Schreiber MOUSE MODIFIER..............................................Mike Hadley Z*NET ECHOES............................................Terry Schreiber |*||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||*| |*| EDITORS DESK |*| |*| by Ron Kovacs |*| |*||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||*| This week I am pleased to welcome Terry May to Z*Net Online as a staff columnist. Terry will be writing the public domain article reviews and other topics in the weeks ahead. We wish Terry success and look forward to future articles. Antic Online has changed it's name to Start Online. This area buried within the Atari section on CompuServe will be debuting shortly. The Antic Online area was last updated in 1988 by the staff and hasn't seen new material since. The changes look promising so stay tuned for more information. ST-Journal is currently setting up issue #3 and it should be released in September. The Z*Net BBS re-construction has finally been completed and is operating now under FoReM ST. We have been assigned F-Net Node 593 and should be ready to enter the network in a few weeks. The Z*Net Echoes conference, #(20448), will be ressigned to us and we will become the lead node. Of course these changes are only in discussion at the present time and will not be finalized until we learn the software and officially receive our node information. Any BBS interested in participating please leave email. This issue contains reviews, two modifcation articles along with our regular features. |*||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||*| |*| Z*NET NEWSWIRE |*| |*||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||*| ATARI SIGNS SIX FIRMS Atari announced earlier this week that it has contracted six outside firms to develop software for the Atari Lynx. The companies, U.S. Gold, APTI Game Systems, TELEGAMES USA, Shadowsoft Inc., Reflex Software and Cyber Labs, signed on to produce a total of 13 new games. Among the new Lynx titles planned are futuristic space adventures, sports challenges and strategic chess and card games -- all of which will be available by early 1991. RENT AND SELL PLAN Tengen recently announced the video game industry's first-ever "rent and sell" program which was enthusiastically received by video retailers and video distributors attending the ninth annual Video Software Dealers Association Show in Las Vegas last week. Tengen's new program offers video rental store customers a $5 rebate with the purchase of a Tengen video game playable on the Nintendo, Sega Genesis or NEC TurboGrafx-16 video game systems. NEW LOW-COST MODELS IBM introduced two new models this week priced as low as $18,250, or 27 percent less than IBM's previous lowest-cost model. The new models of the IBM AS/400, a series first introduced two years ago, are intended to be more competitive with pc systems linked through local area networks. In addition, a new AS/Entry Model - an update of the System 36 model that was the most popular commercial computer ever sold by the company - would be available in October for $12,195. TANDY EARNS $56.9 MILLION Tandy reported this week that net income per share for the quarter ended June 30, 1990 increased nine percent to $.72 compared to $.66 per share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 1989. Net income for the fiscal 1990 fourth quarter totaled $56,926,000 compared to $56,865,000 in the prior year's fourth quarter. Sales and operating revenues for the fourth quarter were $1,043,491,000 in fiscal year 1990 and $897,404,000 in 1989. |*||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||*| |*| A WONDERFUL THING HAPPENED |*| |*| JACK BOUGHT ATARI |*| |*||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||*| by John King Tarpinian This feature is a reprint from the SUMMER ST-JOURNAL MAGAZINE, presented here by permission. THIS ARTICLE MAY NOT BE REPRINTED IN ANY OTHER PUBLICATION OR NEWSLETTER WITHOUT EXPRESS PERMISSION FROM ST- JOURNAL, 113 West College Street, Covina, CA 91723, 818-332-0372. My first experience with Atari began in 1977 with a Pong game which I bought, on sale, for $129.00. My next experience with the company was in 1980 when I bought the basic version of an Atari 400 including a 410 Cassette Recorder for $400 from a local discount store. I was so impressed with that Atari 400 that I took it back to the store the next day and traded it for the more costly, deluxe version. I then found a computer store near my home that specialized in two computers, HP and Atari. (That store is now a restaurant but the owner and I remain friends to this day.) It also had a computer club with about six members who met once a month. I bought about $3000 worth of equipment: an Atari 800, two 16K RAM cards, two 810 disk drives, an Amdek Color I monitor, an Epson MX-80 printer with Graphtrax Plus, and other stuff. That got me a free membership to the computer club. (I laugh when today's computer owners complain about the cost of their STs. When I purchased my first ST, I thought I was getting the bargain of a lifetime.) Eventually, the store closed and I became president of the club. We moved and changed names but we're still meeting once a month (we're now known as 'Hacks'), and some of the original members are still with us. All of the foregoing took place during Atari's 'Warner days.' Sometime afterwards, a magical thing. Jack Tramiel left Commodore and bought Atari. During this time, which was still in the 8 bit days, I decided to fly up to Atari and take the 50 cent tour. The first person I met there was Diana Goralczyk, Manager of Customer Relations. With Atari for over 11 years, Diana is one of the rocks that keeps thecompany going. She signed me in and took me over to Neil Harris. Neil, now with GEnie, was a game player's game player. He had a wall in his office lined with every game available for the Atari. Neil and I chatted for awhile, then he took me over to Sig Hartmann, one of Atari's most colorful personalities. Sig has since retired from Atari but both he and Neil were instrumental in getting the first Atari/User Group *Faire off the ground. Sig sent me upstairs to meet John Skruch. Instead of finding John, I got lost and wound up looking in a room that turned out to be the development lab for a new machine, the ST. I had no idea what I was looking at, but I was whisked out of there and sent in the proper direction. When I finally found John, he was very open, friendly, and enthusiastic about the current products he had under development. During the course of our visit, he took me to the employees' store where I bought an official Atari Olympics coffee cup. (I'm a sucker for Atari logo products.) How many people, I wonder, knew that Atari was the official computer of the L.A Olympics? Leaving John, I went back to Neil's office where I found him online, playing a game, of course. We chatted about the future of Atari and its new super machine, the ST. I had hoped, also, to meet the man behind the legend, Jack Tramiel. But Jack had been in meetings all that day and I would have to wait until my next visit to Atari. I left there feeling very satisfied. I had liked everyone I had met, had been treated well and been made to feel welcome. My visit had been worth the expense. If you're a Users' Group Officer, you too can find a visit to Atari a welcome experience. (And I recommend a visit.) If you do decide to make the trek, be sure to call Bob Brodie, User Group Coordinator, well in advance. He'll do his best to accommodate you. Bob's number is 408/745-2052. - JKT |*||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||*| |*| Z*NET PUBLIC DOMAIN UPDATE |*| |*| by Terry May |*| |*||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||*| (Editors Note: This is the debut column from Terry May. He has taken over the Alice Amore and will be submitting occasional articles covering the Atari ST Public Domain/Shareware arena, and other Atari related articles from time to time. This colun also has yet to be named.) [*> Diamond Format v1.0 <*] Author: Robert D. Luneski Shareware: $5.00* Grade: A- GEnie : DFORMAT.ARC (#16193) CompuServe: -unavailable- *Distributed free to all Diamond Back II owners ------------------------------------------------------------------ Diamond Format is one of two new utilities from the man who brought us the popular Diamond Back II (DB2) hard drive backup utility. It comes with both a program and an accessory version. The GEM screen is completely mouse driven, save for automatic drive switching (more on that later). Its many options include VERIFY, ZERO (for a fast erase w/o formatting), AFE (for Apple File Exchange compatible disks), write MS-DOS compatible boot sector (all Diamond formatted disks automatically include this), TWISTED, 80/82 tracks and 9/10/18/20 sectors per track. 18 and 20 sectors, you say? That's right -- support is provided for high density 1.44/1.6 meg drives! One really nice feature that is borrowed from DB2 is the ability to do nonstop formats with two drives. For instance, while drive A is formatting, you can press B on the keyboard and as soon as A is finished formatting, it will automatically format B with no pause. This can be done back and forth indefinitely, which can come in handy when formatting a stack of disks. Yes, formatters are a dime a dozen, but I think you'll agree that this one is a bit unique. Aside from a couple 'minor' problems (it bombs if you try to high density format on a standard drive, and the Exit button has to be clicked on twice in the ACC version), this is a very nice program. [*> Diamond File Finder v1.0 <*] Author: Robert D. Luneski Shareware: $5.00* Grade: A GEnie : DFIND.ARC CompuServe: -unavailable- *Distributed free to all Diamond Back II owners ------------------------------------------------------------------ This is the other new entry into the "Careware" market from Diamond Back II author, Robert D. Luneski. Like Diamond Format, the interface to this program will be very familiar to DB2 owners; it has the same look and feel as DB2. It, too, is offered as both a program and an accessory. Aside from the file mask entry line, Diamond File Finder is completely mouse driven. Radio buttons are offered for all your drives up to P:, SELECT ALL (for selecting all present drives), TO FILE (for saving output to a file), HELP, ABOUT, and the default FIND FILE, which searches all selected drives for the file mask. Not only are the standard * and ? wildcards supported, but also supported are UNIX style wildcards that give this program unique power among file finders. The bottom half of the screen contains a window that displays all files found that match your file mask. Unfortunately, if you have a lot of files fitting the file mask, you'll have some scroll off the top of the window with no way of going back to look at them. However, ^S, ^Q and ^C will allow you to pause, resume and abort, respectively, while the search is active. This program, along with Diamond Format, is evidence that Mr. Luneski is not satisfied with delivering ho hum utilities. This program is a pleasure to use; it's fast and is more powerful than any file finder I've used. ------------------------------------------------------------------ [*> Sorry v1.8 <*] Author: Paul Bonnette Freeware Grade: A- Very good graphics and gameplay make this a must-have for all fans of the board game by the same name. LOW RES ONLY. ------------------------------------------------------------------ [*> Fuzzball <*] Author: M. Pezzotto Freeware Grade: B This is a Q-Bert clone with decent, though unspectacular graphics. LOW RES ONLY. ------------------------------------------------------------------ [*> Simpsons.Seq <*] Author: -unknown- Freeware Grade: B+ Familiar portrait of The Simpsons, with one notable exception: Bart shoots a projectile at the screen with his slingshot, cracking the screen of your monitor! Only 30452 bytes. ------------------------------------------------------------------ [*> Machine Gun <*] Author: Harlan Hugh Freeware Grade: C Had a hard day? Take out your frustrations on your desktop with this machine gun accessory! ------------------------------------------------------------------ /////////////////////////////////////////////// |||||||||||||| Z*NET DOWN-UNDER ||||||||||||||| \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ ||| _ From the Land of the "Kiwi" ||| ||| ( )o The Flightless Bird. ||| ||| /\ \ Not the fruit. ||| /////////////////////////////////////////////// ||||||||||||||| By Jon Clarke ||||||||||||||||| \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ The changing face of the Global Networks ---------------------------------------- The humble BBS bites back :: Part 4 ----------------------------------- Where do we go now? ------------------ Glossary Part ii ================ IPSN International Packet Switch Network NUA Network User Address NUI Network User I/D number PAD Packet Assembler Disassembler PSN Packet Switch Network Z*Net The beST on-line magazine <grin> Over the last few weeks we have looked a few of the more popular mail systems avalible world wide to most BBS users. How many of you have popped on and left a few messages in say F-Net or Fido-mail in the last week? During this series and in other articles appearing in Z*Net you will have seen mention of the International Packet Switch Network or to the Packet Switch Network (PSN). "Yes, but what does this have to do with my local BBS?" Future developments / options ============================== Packet Switch Network --------------------- The Packet Switch Network (PSN) opens access to local BBS's a 'zillion' fold, as users world wide can dial into any BBS that has a PAD (Packet Assembler Disassembler) attached to it. With a PAD attached to one of the nodes/phone lines on a BBS it will allow the following ...  International access to the BBS via the various PSN carriers. It does not matter what country you are in. You will have some form of access to the PSN and or the International PSN. The hardest part about this is finding BBS's that have PSN access. I have found a good place to look for these access numbers are in.. [i] News-letters [ii] Magazines <- a _very_good_place to find European BBS's [iii] BBS listings -> Look for something like this PSN:053063230988 <- ^ ^BBS address or NUA ^Country DNIC or Address  National access to the BBS via the various PSN carriers. Contact your local Telecom/Post Office/Phone carrier and ask for a list of PSN Network address's. Like the 'phone-book' for data-networks.  Links to other Networks for the BBS and its users'. You can gateway to other services if your local BBS support this.  Cheaper access to the users out of the toll free area. Well that is the bottom line these days, CHEAP! By using the data networks like PSN you do not incur TOLL charges rather a data charge. (These cost vary from country to country). So imagine hearing about this fantastic BBS that has all the files you have been looking for. Well after looking up the phone book for the TOLL charges you see a note saying they have PSN access. "Hmm" you say. "I can either have 30 minutes on normal tolls or 2 hrs on the PSN for the same price. I'll go for the PSN connection" How do we get access to the Packet Switch Network ================================================= The BBS user. ============= Contact your local Telecom/Phone company/Post office or VAN carrier. This may be harder than it sounds. I suggest you drop a note on your local BBS in the mail section and ask those that already use it how they went about getting a Network User I/D number. Along with who they contacted. I have heard some tales of people more akin to finding gold under The White House rather than just walking into the local Telecom/ VAN carrier office and getting a Network User I/D. The BBS Sysop. ============== Contact your local Telecom/Phone company/Post office or VAN carrier. Request information about ... [i] The cost to install a PAD [ii] How to install a PAD [iii] What additional equipment is required? [iv] What is the monthly rental? [v] What is a PAD? <- Always let them explain what is involved. Tip:: If your local carrier has the option go for a dial in PAD from the local exchange this will allow local calls when the PAD is not in use. BIG TIP:: Never put a reserve charge PAD in unless your pocket book is the size of your ST <grin>, or you have sponsorship etc. Now you have all this out of the way set up your modem and PAD, let the world know you have ISPN and PSN access to your BBS and go for it. A sample ISPN,PSN call. ======================= ATDT 9914 <- Call the PSN Connect 9600 <- Connected PACNET 0098 76501 876 <- PSN Banner ?nJONBOY123-0530160159020001 <- Request to call ^ ^ ^BBS or Services(NUA) ^ ^Country/Carrier Address(DNIC) ^My I/D Number so they know who I am(NUI) Connect ISPN Node:: Welcome to STaTus BBS <- connect to BBS The Atari BBS [** Please note I have changes the above number to protect my I/D's etc **] |*||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||*| |*| ST DISK DRIVE CONVERSION |*| |*| SINGLE TO DOUBLE SIDED |*| |*||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||*| by John Hissink (703) 780-6263 The single sided Atari SF354 disk drive can be converted to a double sided drive for $94. It is completely equivalent to the SF314 except that it uses far less power. The SF354 contains an Epson SMD130 drive and the SF314 contains an Epson 140 drive. In addition, both drives contain a connector board at the rear of the drive housing which interfaces the Atari cables to the headed sockets which plug into the Epson drive. The boards also have jumper wires which tell the 520ST what type of drive is connected. The cases for both drives are identical (except for the SF354/SF314 marking on the outside.) There are eight Epson SMD-100 series disk drives. The SMD-130 and SMD-170 are interchangable single sided drives. Similarly, the SMD-140 and SMD-180 are interchangable double sided drives. The difference is that the SMD-130 and SMD-140 are intended for AC powered equipment and consume 1.3W on standby and 6.9W on read/write. The SMD-170 and SMD-180 are designed for use with both AC and battery powered equipment and use 0.3W on standby and 2.9W on read/write. A good source for the Epson SMD-180 drive is: Halted Specialties Co. Inc 827 E. Evelyn Avenue (408) 732-1573 Sunnyvale, CA 94086 The cost is $89 plus $5 shipping. They accept phone orders using a credit card and ship via UPS. Since the cost of a SF314 is about $219 the conversion results in a considerable saving. The only problem is what do you do with the old single sided drive? To convert the drive, proceed as follows: 1. Remove the four screws around the perimeter of the SF354 disk drive and gently lift the rear of the cove while lightly pressng in the disk connector sockets at the rear. The sockets and switch should should pop free and then the top can be unhocked from the disk active LED and disk eject switch at the front. 2. Carefully unplug the two socket connectors between the interface board and the rear of the SMD-130. Use a small, flat bladed screwdriver to gently and evenly pry them free. Looking at the top of the board in the lower left-hand corner is a place for a jumper wire marked W1 between locations SG and FG. Connect a piece of wire between these point and solder it in place. Turn the board over and rotate 180 degrees. Find the four parallel jumper wires on the right hand side. Remove the first and third wires, either by cutting them away or unsoldering them. This completes the modifications to this board. 1 3 1 3 | O O O O | | O SG- : new jumper x L | x L | | | : W1 x remove jumper x 2 | x 1 | | | : J5 J6 | existing jumper O O O O | | O FG- 2 4 2 4 | |_____________________ ______________________| top bottom 3. At this point, you have to decide how functional you want the drive active LED to be. You will probably have noticed that the disk active LED is on the left front on the SMD-180 and on the right front on the SMD-130. You have three choices. a) Forget about it and use you ears to tell you when the drive is active; b) Drill a small hole through the plastic front at the location of the SMD-180 LED; c) Unsolder the LED on the SMD-180, extend it on wires to the SMD-130 location and epoxy it in place behind the old LED window. I used clear epoxy with a small piece of silver foil as reflector to achieve sufficient LED brilliance. I did not change LEDs as I suspect the SMD-180 LED has a far lower driving current. To remove the LED, I had to remove the two screws holding the board, the two cables pluged in by the stepper motor, tilt the board up and use a solder sucker to get it out. If you're willing to do this, you don't need further instructions! 4. Remove the three screws on the bottom of the disk drive case and lift off the SMD-130. Remove the two screws holding on the RFI shield and slide it off to the rear. Now slide it onto the new drive and put the two screws back in place. Use a small Phillips screw driver (about 1/8" diam) to loosen the two screws holding on the plastic disk case front from the SMD-130. They are accessable from the top looking vertically straight down just behind the plastic front. Once the screws are completely free, gently lift the plastic front off the SMD-130 taking the screws along. Look behind the eject button and note that it is attached by two plastic hooks through a rectangular hole in the metal eject lever. Very gently compress the two plastic clips together, remove the plastic knob and push into the hole on the SMD-180 eject lever. Install the plastic drive front on the SMD-180 by reversing the removal procedure. Screw the SMD-180 onto the case bottom using the three retaining screws. Be careful to position it as far forward as possible so that the plastic front touches the lip on the case bottom. 5. Plug the two connectors from the interface board into the rear of the SMD-180, hook the top cover over the LED and eject button and lower the rear over the interface board. Once in place, do up the four screws on the bottom and the SF354 is now a SF314. Hook up and enjoy. |*||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||*| |*| HARLEKIN REVIEW |*| |*| by Terry Schreiber |*| |*||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||*| Ever needed an text editor in the middle of a database? Harlekin, the new accessory has the following features: - Text editor o Block copy, move delete or print o Page numbers, foot and headers o Print (does not support Atari Laser as yet) o Print to disk o Ascii Mode, Text Mode o Search and replace A very powerful little program available at the click of an icon. - Diary o Built in word processor o Time Management system o Sort and search function o Hour,day month,year calendar o Auto time stamp on note files o Assign notes to calendar o Completely icon driven o Catalogue your notes to icons This program is great for an appointment calendar. The ability to have it resident at all times allows you to check and add items while running any program. - Printer Filter o Allows printing of the foreign character set from ASCII files o Allows ASCII files to be printed in graphics mode o Allows printer commands to be set-up on icons (Bold, italics, spacing, printer reset, alternate character sets) - Terminal Program o VT-52 terminal o Phone dialer o Capture buffer o xmodem/ASCII file transfer o xmodem 128 / 1024 bit blocks o Function key and GEM support - ASCII Table o Displays all of the ST's ASCII character set o Displays Hex and Decimal equivalents o Simple point and click system - Calculator o Hex - Decimal - Binary conversions o Parenthesis support o Support up to nine digits o Memory store and recall - Monitor o Edit bytes on disk or memory o Works in sector or file mode o Search and Goto functions o Displays Cluster and Sector - Macro Processor o Adjustable speed o Adjustable delay function o Compatable with most programs including others in Harlekin - File Utilities o Copy o Rename o Move o Create folders o Delete o Disk size - free space - Disk Utilities o Format 80-83 tracks o Format 9 or 10 sectors per track o Adjustable interleave o Copy all tracks or only the tracks used o Option to format used tracks only o Set number of copies up to 99 o Adjustable FAT table - Ram Disk o Reset proof o Auto-loading on boot up - Clocks o Normal display clock o Count down clock o Alarm clock - RS 232C o Set baud rate o Parity set o stop bit o handshake - Print Spooler o Set printer type (dot matrix/daisy) o Colour or Black and white o Dot density o Draft or final modes o Parallel or serial type printers o Fanfold or single sheet paper o Adjustable size - Control Panel o Adjust keyboard layouts o Set time and date o Mouse speed select o Screen saver o System font or user defined font - Information o Displays which modules are reset proof o Displays used memory for each module o Displays total system memory available and in use o Allows saving default set up of system settings All this for less than $100.00 Canadian. True most of these are available as public domain or shareware but not with the this many features. Fully configured this program saves time and time is money in today's business. Compatability...... 9 Ease of use.........7 I highly recommend this package to anyone in a productivity envirorment. I use this program in conjunction with Cricket (point of sales program) at our store in ourder to keep track of personal orders and a customer database at my fingertips. |*||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||*| |*|ULTIMA 5-WARRIORS OF DESTINY|*| |*| |*| |*||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||*| by Aragorn ORIGIN SYSTEMS INC. 136 Harvey Road, Building 'B' Londonderry, NH 03053 No doubt many people always glance at fantasy games warily because the general talk is, "great, another fantasy based game has come out." No doubt your goal is to attempt to save the land with a group of warriors and sorcerers by bashing every monster in sight. Well, unlike the typical adventure, Ultima V breaks tradition because the game has a worthy cause, something which many other fantasy games generally lack. The technology of world has changed, and computer software has improved immeasurably. One product that has grown over the years is the Ultima series written by Lord British. Many Atari users have grown from an Atari 800 to an Atari ST, and over the years, the Ultima games have grown with the computer as well. Each game noticably improved as technology grew more advanced over the years. In Ultima I, you controlled one heroe to battle Mondain, Ultima II you fought against Minax, Mondain's apprentice and triumphed once more. Then in Ultima III, you fought Exodus, the progeny of Mondain and Mixax with a group of four. Finally, in Ultima IV, you quested for the ultimate goal, to discover the Codex of Ulitimate Wisdom within the Great Stygian Abyss. Now you are ready to, experience Ultima V. Lord British has disappeared while on an expedition, and Blackthorne, a ambitious subject seizes control of Britannia. You are summoned once more to aid Britannia in its time of aid. Now, what is interesting is, this time, instead of distributing points to what attributes you decide, your status is determined by answering questions given by a gypsy. These questions vary and the choices given are difficult in every situation. Your answers decide how high your skills will be. This is a much better and creative than previous methods and an ingenious idea. One enjoyable part of playing the game is meeting the old characters you've met before. Meeting old adventurers that quested with you in previous Ultima gives you a sense of true adventuring. Once again, this realistic game offers you graphic detail, animation, sound effects, and realistic lighthouses that constantly gives out light on the sea, over 30 multi-level villages, towns, castles, keeps, also new large dungeons, and many new creatures. Whew! This game is realistic in that, in order to get information to help you on your quest, you must communicate with the townsfolk and villagers. However, these people follow their own individual schedules, sleeping and getting up at their own time. Everything happens according to their own schedule, which adds the realism needed in a fantasy game. The manual, the Book of Lore that comes with the package of Ultima V, is quite thorough in explaining Britannia to its fullest. History, geography, language, combat and other topics are covered in detail and can be enjoyed by the fastidious adventurer. The package includes an essential map of Britannia, the 54 page Book of Lore, and an useful Ultima V Quick Reference Card which summarizes the commands, available weapons, armour, and includes a chart of spells on the back. Ultima V is designed to challenge the adventurer for a long period of time. This is not one of those games you solve in a day. You can cut down the time to solve this difficult game, however, by purchasing the hint book. One of the aspects of the game I enjoyed the most is the fact that you, as an adventurer, seek the eight virtues: Honesty, compassion, valor, justice, sacrifice, honour, spirituality, humility. These qualities were discovered in Ultima IV where you received the honor of the title, Avatar. These qualities are scarce in the world today, and just maybe, people can learn a little about these qualities from playing the game. |*||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||*| |*|MIDI PHONE CONNECTION REVIEW|*| |*| by Terry Schreiber |*| |*||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||*| MIDI jam sessions over the phone? Yes, with a new software package - MIDI-Phone Connection you can play realtime over the phonelines with a standard 2400 baud modem. The music that you play is transferred in a digitally compressed form and re-created on the other MIDI system. The MIDI systems do not have to be identical because the program contains MIDI system mapping information. Text messages may also be transmitted simutaniously without any delay in the music. As an added feature the program conatins a keyboard re-mapper which allows you to re-map any note on your keyboard into any other note or chord on any MIDI channel. A different mapping is allowed for each song. The software contains a music sequencer with standard MIDI file support so that you may record and playback your session later. With standard 2400 baud modems there is a delay of about 20 milliseconds. You may use the program with 9600 baud modems to reduce the delay to about 6 milliseconds. People can now have real-time musical interaction without having to be in the same room or city. MIDI-Phone Connection will be available in September for $195.00 from your local dealer or contact: J.D. Koftinoff Software Box 1405 Grand Forks B.C. V0H 1H0 (604) 439-7583 |*||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||*| |*| MIGL'S MOUSE MODIFIER |*| |*| by Michael Hadley |*| |*||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||*| (Reprinted from the Puget Sound Atari News, July 1990) Let me first admit that I would rather figure out how to do some things myself than pay someone else to do them for me. Maybe it comes from being brought up in a technical (read Air Force brat) environment. I'll leave proving that conjecture to the social scientists and psychologists; I know I like doing technical stuff for myself. I did my own memory upgrade (with a minor checkout from Bud at Xanth) and installed PC Ditto II (how many of them worked the first time???) on my ST. I also built my own Hard Drive system and added two floppies (switchable and the topic for a later article) so I have been inside my 1040 ST frequently. This being the history of the moment, I bring to the fore a way to build a sort of Mouse Master. I say "sort of" not to say it is funky or semi- functional, but rather that the real "Mouse Master" is a copyrighted product from Practical Solutions. Since I have never been inside a "Mouse Master" I can only say from conjecture that what I made is "Mouse Master"-like in its function. It allows you to switch from the mouse to a joystick without constantly unplugging either one. It also keeps you from having to lift up your keyboard to replug anything. That is one of the few features of the ST that I dislike, but I understand the mouse and joystick port placement from the "functionality" viewpoint. Atari has the keyboard microprocessor right there in my ST and probably thought it efficient to place the ports close to the processor. Be that as it may, this Mouse Modifier project fixes that port placement "feature" and allows switching between mouse and joystick at the same time. When I decided to fix this "feature" I had fought with the ports for a couple years and finally added "the last straw" to the pile. My current Mouse Modifier has been installed for over two years and seven moves (I got tired of moving, too!) and has never had or caused any problems. I like it a lot. It hides behind my ST and is easily switched from mouse to joystick. If I were a true mouse freak, I would probably have two different joystick ports on the joystick side to allow me to use either a control stick type (competition style) or a standard one for my three year old nephew. It is possible, using the simple trick I use here, with two switches for four ports. But enough of the B.S. and on with the article. In case you did not know, the Atari joystick is a group of four switches each set 90 degrees apart in a single plane. To make some signal when these switches close, there is also a 5 volt line tied to one side of each of these switches. When you move the joystick in some direction, it closes one or two of these switches, sending the 5 volt signal through the switch and along any line to the Joystick port. For example, moving the stick Up and Right closes the Up and Right switches, sending a signal along those two conductors to the Joystick port. These signals are read by the microprocessor and the appropriate commands are passed to the ST's Motorola 68000 CPU, if the programmer has done her stuff right. In the case of the mouse, the signals are supplied by a different mechanism. The wheels against which the mouse ball rolls are each connected to a larger wheel and aligned at 90 degrees to each other. The larger wheels have a series of slots in them that interrupt the light beam from an LED (Light Emitting Diode) which is sensed by a photo diode. This pulses the beam, allowing the mouse to tell that it is being moved. The direction of movement is determined by the the timing of the pulses - as the two sensors are not evenly spaced along the edge of the wheel. This makes it possible to determine which direction the mouse is moving because the timing between the pulses varies from one direction to another. So what is the trick, you ask? When is he going to explain the Mouse Modifier? The trick is very simple. To switch between the mouse and the joystick in the same port, all you have to do is switch both the 5 volt line and the ground at the same time. Turn off the power to the mouse and apply power to the joystick (or the other way around) and you have the fix. Since the 5 volt line is pin 7 and the ground is pin 8, you need a DPDT (read Double Pole, Double Throw) switch to switch between the new ports. I'll describe it in more detail, though, to clarify the project. A parts list follows at the end of the article. All part numbers in the text are for JDR parts because they are shorter. Male parts have the pins showing, though they have a skirt that fits around the female part, which has holes into which the pins fit. Vaguely confusing, that! Note that the procedures are a bit different, depending on whether you use solder-on or clamp-on connectors. I designate the steps with a label "Solder:" or "Clamp:" if the steps are distinctly different, and "Both:" if they are identical. If I seem to ramble, I am being redundant. Not everyone conceives of something in the same way. I have tried to describe the project in a way that can be easily recognized. The drawing is admittedly quasi-schematic. Both: I used a 33 inch piece of 25 lead ribbon cable for two reasons. One was that I had some in stock and the other was that with the two plugs attached to the end, the spacing for the joystick ports under the keyboard was just right. The first step is to split the cable at one end, making a 25 lead ribbon cable into two 9 lead and one 7 lead stub. Count nine leads in from each side and split the cable (between the ninth and tenth lead) leaving a seven strand flap in the middle. One or two inches is plenty of flap. Trim if you want to, though they are unused. Clamp: Now squeeze a one of the nine pin female IBD09S "plugs" onto each nine lead ribbon. Make sure that they are aligned the same; when you look at them from the front, both have the narrow part up (or down) so the ribbon will lay flat UNDER your keyboard. Solder: Before soldering the connections, look closely at the plugs on the bottom of the keyboard. Note their orientation. Remember that the cable will lie flat underneath the machine. The object is to have the ribbon cable that leaves the plugs leave at a right angle and go under the machine. Mark the outer lead on each plug. In one case the outer pin will be pin 1; in the other it will be pin 5. Make that your first solder joint on the respective plug. For example, if the plug to port P0 is on the right, solder the outside lead to pin 1 on the plug. The inner-most lead of the 9 lead ribbon will be soldered to pin 5 on the plug. The joystick plug would be just the opposite, with the outer (other side of the cable, remember) lead soldered to pin 5 and the inner one soldered to pin 1. Make sure that the plugs are both oriented the same way before soldering any more leads in place. Check that the plugs leads are leaving the solder joints turning away from the bottom of the keyboard. Now split the leads and solder them alternately to the bottom then top posts; the order from the above Mouse port example would be to start at pin 1 and solder the leads inward in the order 6, 2, 7, 3, 8, 4, 9, 5 (done). Both: Split back the other end of the ribbon cable in the same way, but split it back about eight inches on the Mouse side of the cable. Clip off the excess on the Joystick side, so the Joystick side is 8 inches shorter. Now comes the "make sure" step. Plug a male connector into each female already attached to the cable. This is the simplest way to assure correct cable connections. Clamp: Make a loop with the cable, making sure it does not twist, and mark the respective positions of the male plugs. Clamp the Joystick side male first. Now slide a male onto the longer Mouse side, even with the Joystick connector. Make sure the connector is oriented like the in-place connector. Clamp it into place. The tail extends about eight inches beyond this connector. Clamp the other male onto the end of the tail, making sure the orientation is the same as first Mouse connector. Clamp it in place. Now carefully split the ribbon Mouse side ribbon cable at the first NEW Mouse port. This must happen on the long side, between the male and female, not the two males. Split the fourth and sixth leads (from the outside) about an inch back from the connector. Clip the leads close to the edge of the connector. This will isolate pins 7 and 8 from the main cable. You can also split the same leads on the ribbon between the two males, but do not clip them at this point. Leave about a half inch of ribbon unsplit close to each connector. Strip these two leads and solder a four to six inch piece of 26 or 28 gauge wire to each lead. Strip the unsoldered end of each lead, then fold these leads back along the ribbon cable. Solder: Strip the leads for soldering. Split the Mouse side ribbon, separating the fourth and sixth leads (from the outside) about eight inches back. Fold these two leads back along the ribbon and tape them for now. Solder the male connectors on the ends of the cables now stripped. Leave them plugged into the females while you solder. Solder the cables onto the connectors as I described above, and remember to skip pins 7 and 8 as you solder across the connector. Now carefully strip the cable at the point where you are mounting the inner Mouse port, at about the same position on the cable as the Joystick connector. If you strip these carefully, you will not break the ribbon leads and can simply bend them and solder them into place without handling two separate leads for each pin. Remember to skip leads 7 and 8 on this connector as well. Now get some scraps of wire, about 26 or 28 gauge, and solder an eight inch piece between the respective pins 7 and 8 of the male connectors; all the pins should now be connected and you should have two leads folded and taped back onto the ribbon cable. Both: efore you go further, plug the cables into the Mouse/Joystick ports under the keyboard. Now run the cable under the machine and back to the project box. Mark the location where the Mouse port (P0) edge of the cable intersects the edge of the box. (Note that the box I specified has a metal lid. I simply screwed the lid down gently onto the cable, after making a shallow notch in the box side where the cable crosses it, clamping it in place. The cable stays flat.) This will show the male jack placement. Mark the position for the holes in the box side. Start by cutting holes for the male plugs into the project box. I stacked the two Port P0 (a & b) ports on the right side, facing the box; the first just below the top, the other spaced a quarter-inch below the bottom edge of the top connector. Make sure you have clearance between them, mostly for ease in assembly. You can now mount them after you drill the mounting hardware holes. Checking carefully and proceeding slowly will yield you a nicer looking project. Now that you have the jacks mounted in the box, drill a hole in the top for the DPDT switch. Make sure it is not in a direct line with the point where the ribbon cable enters the box, but not too far away, as you will have only about four inches of leads for the connections to the switch. Go ahead and mount the switch in its hole now, so that you can easily support the stuff as you are soldering. From here on, the project requires soldering, so I make no further distinctions between the processes. Take the leads that you taped back along the ribbon cable and solder each to one of the middle terminals on the switch. These two are the source of the 5 volt and ground for both the Mouse and Joystick. Pick one pair of leads from one of the male connectors and solder them to one end of the switch. Make sure you solder the lead to the proper side of the switch; check with an ohmeter. Pin 7 on the male must connect to pin 7 of the female. If you have any doubts, check again. Consult the diagram. You should be able to read continuity from the male to the female for each lead. Check them ALL at this point. Now flip the switch and check again. Pins 7 and 8 should be open. Solder the remaining wires from the other male connector and perform the same checks. Make sure that you have no shorts between any leads on the cable. Each lead should connect to only one pin on the connector. If you have checked all connections and are sure it will be okay, plug the jacks in to the Mouse and Joystick ports on the ST. Now plug the mouse into one P0 port and the Joystick into the other P0 port. Boot up the computer. Below is a checklist for "debugging" the Mouse Modifier: Check to see if the Mouse works: ___Yes, it works. Mark the current switch position as the Mouse position. Try a Joystick game. Remember to switch to the Joystick position. Go back to the top and replace Joystick for each mention of Mouse. ___No, it does not work. Check the cursor by holding down the Alternate key and using the Arrow keys. ___The Pointer moves now. Flip the switch and try the mouse. Go back to the top of the checklist. ___The Pointer does not move. WORST CASE! Turn off the machine and double check all connections. Go back to the top. Now assemble the box, carefully tucking in all the leads. Make sure the respective Mouse and Joystick positions are marked at the switch. This should now eliminate all Mouse/Joystick replugging and the associated lift-the-computer-and-plug-in-something-different syndrome. Reach your left arm out in front of yourself. Move your arm upward in an arc until it is above your shoulder. Bend your arm at the elbow and reach behind you until you can pat yourself on the back. Congratulations! You have built a successful Mouse Modifier! Below is the table of parts needed to build the Mouse Modifier. I have shown at least one source for many parts and you might find them elsewhere as well. I could not find the 9 pin Mini D ribbon connectors at Radio Shack, so try some place like Radar Electronics in Seattle or a specialized electronic outlets for them. The Rad Shak part listed here is a solder type connector. JDR Micro is a big mail order house in San Jose; they have most anything you might want but ask for a minimum $10.00 order. Their order phone is 800-538-5000. Happy Scrounging! Source Part Num. Description Quan. Cost ea. ------------------------------------------------------- Radio Shack 275-666 DPDT switch 2 $ 1.59 JDR Micro DP/DT DPDT switch 2 $ 1.50 JDR Micro IDB09S 9 pin Sub D Ribbon Female 2 $ 1.45 Radio Shack 276-1428 9 pin Sub D Solder Female 2 $ 1.19 JDR Micro IDB09P 9 pin Sub D Ribbon Male 3 $ 1.39 Radio Shack 276-1427 9 pin Sub D Solder Male 3 $ .99 JDR Micro RC25 25 pin Ribbon Cable (grey) 3 ft $ .38 Radio Shack 270-233 Box for project 1 $ 2.19 Nuts and bolts to hold things together .........$ .?? Pieces of 26 or 28 guage wire: 2 @ 8" .........$ .?? |*||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||*| |*| Z*NET ECHOES |*| |*| by Terry Schreiber |*| |*||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||*| On The FNET The on-going war between the Atari supporters and the Atari bashers still runs wild through-out most message bases. The Atari supporters stating that unless Atari gets user support it is heading for a down- fall and the opposition stating that they have had their chance and blew it. The strange thing about this arguement is that both sides agree that the hardware is great but the problem lies in the support and service areas. The negative of this situation is that when you buy a car you base ninety-nine percent of your decision on what is right for you - not because you don't like how the company is being run. Car dealers supply service and support as is what is supposed to be happening in the computer world and does with most brands of computers. When was the last time you heard an IBM, Mac, or Commodore user gripe about the computer company? Most complaints can be handled by the dealer and believe nme most dealers do pass them on. Atari bashers think they are doing everyone a service by constantly nagging Atari about mistakes and injustices while in-fact they are defeating their own purposes. Three years ago developers started dropping the ST because of lack of sales. The reason given was there were just not enough machines out there to justify the support. This is further hampered by the bashing which as a retailer, former user group president, BBS sysop and endulged end user I can state has effected sales this last year. On the positive side if every user sold two friends on the Atari computer our userbase would increase three-fold making a much louder voice and more attractive market to dealers, suppliers, developers and more end users. You have a choice - You can sit there and whine, yell, scream and write nasty things about the company or you can take a positive approach and make the Atari machine, the machine we all love so much, the viable product it should be. Next week a quick review on AT-ONCE, the new 286 emulator out of Germany (providing it arrives on Monday) and a note to let you know that Ron now has the Z-Net BBS running on FoRem software and hopes to have it networked very soon. FoRem/Turbo boards are invited to join the Z-Net Online conference. Lead node #448 Conference code 20448 Teacher: "What is Machine language?" Student: "A smattering of obscene words used when my father is working at the computer." Strange but true: The name mouse mat or pad gives the misleading idea that it's function is to catch refuse from the mouse. Why is it that it seems to work in reverse. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Z*Net Atari Online Magazine is a weekly magazine covering the Atari and related computer community. Material contained in this edition may be reprinted without permission, except where otherwise noted, unedited, with the issue number, name and author included at the top of each reprinted article. Commentary and opinions presented are those of the individual author and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Z*Net or the staff. Z*Net Atari Online Magazine and Z*Net are copyright (c)1990 by Rovac Industries Inc, a registered corporation. Post Office Box 59, Middlesex, New Jersey 08846. (908) 968-2024. Z*Net Online BBS 24 Hours, 1200/2400 Baud, (908) 968-8148. We can be reached on CompuServe at 71777,2140 and on GEnie at Z-NET. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Z*NET Atari Online Magazine Copyright (c)1990, Rovac Industries, Inc.. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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